NRL appoints wrestling coach
In an effort to prevent the next grapple tackle, chicken wing or crusher trend, Head of Football Todd Greenburg announced on Tuesday that the NRL has appointed a wrestling coach to help educate both the referees and Match Review Committee.
Milton Dymock, brother of Bulldogs' assistant coach Jim Dymock, will be engaging with the NRL to help give advice on current and upcoming wrestling trends in rugby league.
Adding that it won't be a conflict of interest between the NRL and the clubs, Greenburg said it was a simple decision to make.
"Milton Dymock has been with multiple clubs and he's just returned from a stint with St Helens so we have engaged with him, not on a full-time basis, but to give us some advice from time to time. We expect to understand the trends in the game before they are set upon us," Greenburg said.
"To do that, we have to educate the people who are making decisions so for me it was a pragmatic and sensible appointment. He's there to provide good education and know-how in certain things we're looking for. We will use his experience and use that to offset our decision making.
"It's about making sure we give Tony Archer and his referees an opportunity to learn and develop and equally for those on the Match Review Committee so it made perfect sense to engage with someone adept in wrestling throughout the year."
Referee Elite Performance Manager Archer said he has seen the benefits of Dymock's appointment already.
"It increases [referees'] education and understanding; the better they understand the environment they work within the more likely they are to make correct decisions," Archer said.
It was also announced on Monday that there will be only one rule re-interpretation for the 2015 season involving players peeling off a tackle once completed.
Referees will be looking for every single defensive player in a tackle to remove themselves once 'held' is called – in an effort to lower the instances of three-man tackles and overall safety and speed of play – otherwise a penalty will be blown.
"The safety part is really important but these things just don't happen through guesswork, we don't just sit around in a room and say that sounds like a really good idea let's do that," Greenburg said.
"We pressure test this for months, we look at statistics, we analyse data, we look at hundreds and hundreds of tackles at a time and we get some really smart people inside the game to pressure test it with us."